Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An abiding love

Last night, I attended a high school orchestra concert at my alma mater to watch my little brother play the cello. The school has a top-notch music education program, and in the past decade has won best in state honors 5 times. When I was a junior, our orchestra was the first to bring home that particular prize. So it was with both pride and nostalgia that I watched, rapt, as my old conductor directed this particular group of musicians. They're a phenomenal bunch, but the standout was definitely one Danny Hahm, All-State cellist and superstar, who performed "Kol Andrei" with such expressiveness and pure, raw talent that tears sprang into my eyes, unexpectedly. Watch out for that kid -- he's going to be a star. Here's a sampling of that piece of gorgeous, gorgeous music:


"Kol Nidrei" by Max Bruch


The whole experience left me, as always, with a feeling of longing and regret. I rarely pick up my viola anymore, and I haven't played in an ensemble for almost five years. That's such a shame. It's not that I was ever particularly talented, but I love playing music. I do, I love it. I love the warm, rich, resonant sounds of the cellos and violas, the delicate and more strident tones of the violins, and the heavy, profound vibrations of the string bass. I love symphonies and string quartets, concertos and cadenzas, elegies and etudes. I love it all. I miss the feelings that musical performance can evoke in me. Watching that group perform last night made me ache in more ways than I could possibly describe.

All hope is not lost, though. I still own the most gorgeous instrument, one I can pick up at any time. I can always join another ensemble (with enough practice, of course!). So I haven't given up that dream, not yet. It just might take me a while to get there again. And I'm okay with that.

1 comment:

Louisiana Belle said...

Ahem! "Not particularly talented"? My dear, you were FIRST CHAIR, remember? You have loads of talent. You were selected to play in an ensemble after you graduated college. I love your playing and do hope you will get back to the viola again. Music, especially playing it, is good for the soul.